There is, of course, the overarching reason why self-sufficiency as a concept makes sense. This stuff is the best reason to focus on SS.
But Ontario taxpayers still funnel billions of dollars to supposedly needy provinces like Quebec, Manitoba and those in Atlantic Canada – even though those regions actually enjoy “gold-plated public services” compared to those here.
“In Nova Scotia there are 32 hospitals and, in P.E.I., eight – 40 hospitals for a population of 1 million. In the city of Vaughan, just above Toronto, there isn’t a single hospital for over 200,000 people,” noted MacKinnon.
MacKinnon argued it is time for Ontario’s federal and provincial politicians to reignite that crusade, “to get real and get tough.”
Weaning so-called “have-not” provinces off the Ontario- and Alberta-subsidized equalization teat would also benefit the country, he said, noting the “tidal wave” of funding from Alberta and Ontario taxpayers to recipient jurisdictions impairs economic growth by forcing labour costs to national levels and forcing unsubsidized enterprises to compete with subsidized ones.
And then just to put a little pizzazz to it, this guy says:
Against such an anti-Ontario backdrop, he said it’s a wonder Ontarians haven’t risen up the way American colonists did in 1773 against their British overlords.
“Perhaps we need to borrow an idea from the Americans and have the modern equivalent of a tea party in Toronto harbour to argue for the principles of representation by population and no taxation without fair representation,” he said.
Now, some of you will say this guy is an outlier but I have tracked this stuff for years. There is a fairly significant sense of resentment particularly in Ontario over Equalization. It would be almost impossible to conceive of a scenario where Equalization increases in the next 10 years – in New Brunswick – the way it did in the past 10. Eventually, these voices will become a chorus and change will be forced upon us. We can’t keep spending more than we take in (own source revenue). We can’t keep spending as much as fast growing provinces. We need to figure out how to simultaneously generate economic development and keep a lid on government spending.